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CLAS340 Love, Death and the Good Life: Socrates and Plato

A study of the philosophy of Socrates and Plato. Topics covered include love, death, the soul, virtue, knowledge, happiness, and the nature of reality.

Socrates and his pupil Plato were two of the greatest minds, not just in the Classical world, but in the history of Western thought. They used their intellectual gifts to question the nature of truth, justice and virtue in an attempt to understand how life should be lived. Often, such ideas ran counter to conventional Greek 'wisdom.' This ultimately led to the trial and execution of Socrates, which in turn spurred on Plato to found the Academy and influence great minds for centuries to come.

Paper title Love, Death and the Good Life: Socrates and Plato
Paper code CLAS340
Subject Classical Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level CLAS, GREK or LATN points or 18 200-level PHIL points or one of (GEND 201, GEND 208, POLS 202, POLS 208, POLS 233 or PSYC 204)
CLAS 440
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Dr Sean McConnell
Paper Structure

Internal Assessment 60%


Plato, Meno and Other Dialogues (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 2005.

Plato, Phaedo (tr. D. Gallop) Oxford, 1993.

Plato, Symposium (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 1994.

Plato, Phaedrus (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 2002.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

  • A knowledge of several of Plato's philosophical dialogues
  • An understanding of the central ethical issues that these dialogues address
  • A knowledge of the intellectual world in which these dialogues were composed
  • The ability to analyse Plato's arguments critically and assess their contribution to philosophical thought
  • The skills of effective written communication, including the construction of clear and logical argument

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system